Cal Kinnear



here, the moth-eaten holes

things come and go through passing
from dream. This world of mud and morning light

and oat bread is dense and sweet.
I would be content to stand for ages aerial and ponderous

as a great redwood with unblinking eyes. I would need
nothing, if

there were not fox with her red brush marking the crossings,
here to there and back. Watchful, silent.

Here-and-there name my border
where she knows none.

Red and night are the same
pigment. Tireless

and keep and smoke
name her.

If there were not fox, where
would I die to?



Cal Kinnear is a third generation resident of Seattle recently retired to Vashon Island. In the course of his life he has been college teacher (University of Virginia and Wells College), owner of a book store in Olympia, Washington, modern dancer, waiter at The Thirteen Coins, sailor, hiker, carpenter, development director for the Church Council of Greater Seattle and Explorer West Middle School, and, until recent retirement, Director of Washington Lawyers for the Arts. He has had poems published in The Louisville Review, The Licking River Review, The Prose Poem: An International Journal, Birmingham Poetry Review, Chrysalis Reader, The Temple, Burning Cloud, and RE:AL, and locally in Crab Creek Review, Point No Point, Pontoon, Floating Bridge Review and Fine Madness. He was winner of Fine Madness’ Nelson Bentley prize in 2003. His book, A Walk in Bardo, was published in 2008 by Blue Begonia Press. A suite of 15 translations from the work of the German-Jewish poet Paul Celan was published by Longhouse Books of Vermont in April of 2009. Raven Chronicles published a suite of poems, Heart Range, on line in November of 2009.

Doug Nufer

Lounge Acts


Doug New and the Fur
Rob Roy and the Nightcaps
Colt Fore and the Tee Fives
Gib Lee and the Frescas
Jim Beam and the Royal Crowns
Gar Nish and the Twists
Mick Surr and the Swizzle Sticks
Pop Off and the Grenadines
Red Dye and the Mariscinos
Dick Cull and the Jewel Lips
Miss Stir and the Boss Stun
Ray Near and the Shots
Black Jack and the Daniels
Barb Back and the Pour
Butch Mills and the Rocks
Dee Tease and the Squeezings

Honey Castro and the Bee Feeders
Dina Martina and the Stemware
Harvey Danger and the Wallbangers
Philip Glass and the Binge
Ivy Poison and the Coasters
Mack Jigger and the Riling Steins

Mark Curse and the Make
Al Roy and the Keyer
Ape Pee and the Eye
Key Turk and the Wild
Fire Salve and Bay Bomb
Tan Hat and the Man
Neat Teen and the Mar
Kane Rick and the Her

Moe Hee and the Tow
Ray Most and the Fizz
Jane Bee and the Bar Flies
Mal Beck and the Swill
Mess Gal and the Posh
Bart Thyme and the Stool
Mel Lure and the High Life
Scott Land and the Balvenie
Hy Ball and the Vat 69
Bound Sir and the 86ed
Seve Finn and the Seven
Graham Sport and the Six Grapes
Clare Rhett and the Five Crew Class A
Bea Girl and the Four Roses
Mack Way and the Triple Sec
Tzar Mash and the Doubles
Scott Shore and the Single Malts
Doe Zahg and the Brute Zero
Ry Plonk and the Well
Rod Gut and the Dive
Jay Surr and the Knock-backs
Mick Finn and the Pick-ups
Jen Mill and the Last Call


Doug Nufer writes fiction, poetry, and pieces for performance, favoring “formal constraints,” such as in his most recent novel Never Again, in which it is said that no word appears more than once. Other novels include On the Roast and Negativeland (both published in 2004 “although I finished them over a 15-year period”). He has also been published in the Washington Free Press, Art Access, The Stranger, American Book Review, and The Nation.

Doug Nufer will be part of “Lit Crawl” Friday, March 30.


Tiffany Midge

After Viewing the Holocaust Museum’s Room of Shoes
and a Gallery of Plains’ Indian Moccasins: Washington, D.C.


The portrait is clear;
one is art the other
evidence. One is artifact
the other atrocity.
Each is interned
behind glass,
with diagrams
and panels,
a testament to miles
walked. Both
are worn,
each a pair,
one is cobbled
one is beaded.

At my tour’s end
can I buy a key-chain shoe?
Will I be assigned
the ID card
of one of the perished
at Wounded Knee?

The moccasins
are beautiful. Seed pearls
woven intricate as lace.
We don’t mourn
the elegant doe skins,
we admire the handicraft.
We don’t ask from whose soles
do these relics come from?
We don’t look for signs of resistance,
or evidence of blood.

Nor do we wonder
if he was old
and passed in his sleep,
or if this child
traded for a stick of candy
or a pinch of dried meat.
We do not make assumptions
of original ownership at all.

Their deaths were not curated,
not part of an installation. We
don’t absorb their violent
or harrowing ends under soft
lights or dramatic shadows.

We look right
through them,
more invisible
than the sighs
of ghosts.
And then we move
on to the next

and the next,

and the next,

to another
collector’s trophy
beneath a
veil of glass.


“After Viewing the Holocaust Museum’s Room of Shoes and a Gallery of Plains’ Indian Moccasins: Washington, D.C.” previously appeared in Go to the Ruined Place: Contemporary Poems in Defense of Global Human Rights and New Poets of the American West.


Tiffany Midge is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux, and a recent poetry MFA graduate from the University of Idaho. Her previous collection of poetry Outlaws, Renegades and Saints: Diary of Mixed-up Halfbreed won the Native Writers of the Americas First Book Award for poetry and was published by Greenfield Review Press in 1996. The chapbook, Guiding the Stars to their Campfire, Driving the Salmon to their Beds was published by Gazoobi Tales in ’05. She has published poetry and prose in, Growing Up Ethnic in America, Viking/Penguin; Reinventing the Enemy’s Language, W.W. Norton; Blue Dawn, Red Earth, New Native American Storytellers, Anchor Books; Identity Lessons: Contemporary Writing about Learning to be American, Viking Penguin, as well as in poetry journals such as Shenandoah, North American Review, Poetry Northwest and most recently in The Raven Chronicles and Florida Review. She calls both Seattle and Moscow, Idaho home (among other places) and teaches part time with Northwest Indian College.

Michael G. Hickey

The Cage Door
(for Stephanie Hallgren 5/21/11)


Know this:
for every phony from Catcher in the Rye
revered by applauding saguaros, player pianos,
& accolades standing in line,
there is an antidote in a long white dress with strawberry hair.

I know ballyhoo & people famous with a small “f”
whose peanut is more like a shell
or the two rodent parts per million
allowed in canned chili. I’m ashamed to admit
I sometimes beg them to tattoo my scars

with their approval. But it is a lucky sleep indeed
to dream of you, or at least the idea of you:
the leap second to correct atomic clocks,
blue mountains in love,
the whisper of hands praying in supplication.

On the day the world is scheduled to end,
the only revelation I see is a river running with hope.
Because haven’t you heard?
The eye of the storm is myopic.
The door of my cage has been lifted.


Michael G. Hickey is a tenured creative writing professor at South Seattle Community College. In addition to being an award-winning teacher, labor leader, and political activist, he has volunteered as a creative writing instructor for children at bereavement camps, prisoners at the Monroe Correctional Complex, and juveniles at King County Youth Detention. In 2009, Hickey was inaugurated as Seattle’s eighth “Poet Populist”. His community project was entitled “Seattle Writes” in which residents of Seattle and King County were encouraged to submit a poem on the theme of “Neighbors.” There are over 200 poems on the site to date including submissions from the kindergarten class of the New Discovery School as well as some of the finest poets in the region including Elizabeth Austen, Martha Clarkson, and Tatyana Mishel.

Kim-An Lieberman



My daughter is a collector of fragments:
single beads, stray buttons, broken twigs.
She trolls the garden, catching seedpods
and pebbles in her pocket. This is not to sing
a strange-eyed child, some oracular pure
who sees what we have lost. She is not knowing,
just doing. A small thing jealous of the world,
snatching her share from the groundfall.

After the first wave crested and cleared,
the beach was littered with golden fish
staring upward, still flapping as if to swim.
They say the children came running to gather,
filling skirts and shirtsleeves, crowing, gleeful,
brown feet flashing salt. Only then did the sky
open its sudden true hand, the second wave
reaching forward to sweep them all away.


“Harvest” first appeared in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal.

Kim-An Lieberman is an almost-lifelong Seattlelite. Her collection of poetry, Breaking the Map, won a first-book prize from Blue Begonia Press in 2008. Her work also appears in journals and anthologies including Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner, Lantern Review, CALYX, New Poets of the American West, and My Viet: Vietnamese American Literature in English. A recipient of awards from the Jack Straw Writers Program and the Mellon Foundation for the Humanities, Kim-An has been a featured reader at venues including the Skagit River Poetry Festival, the San Francisco International Poetry Festival, and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop in New York. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley and has spent many years in the classroom, teaching kindergarteners through college students.

Marjorie Manwaring

The botanist’s magnifying glass is youth recaptured. It gives him back the enlarging gaze of a child.
–Gaston Bachelard


Automatic doors seal shut, the air artificial and cool. Thick with the smell of a deep fat fryer, freshly butchered meat, bananas just out of cold storage. Mom gets a cart. You linger in the alcove of news racks and gumball machines, one filled with Chiclets, another with jawbreakers big as golf balls, and this one, the one that dazzles you, its display card alive with trinkets and plastic charms . . . You align your dime into its special slot. Crank the metal handle. The mound of treasure shifts, a small upheaval, and you hear the plastic capsule rattle down the chute. Will it be a tiny bird whistle—yellow, orange, or baby blue—that when filled halfway with water and blown will chirp and warble? Or the salmon-pink Cupid with his sideways glance, bow drawn back, one leg flexed behind him? These would please you, held tightly in your hand or strung on a chain, but the miniature magnifying glass—something small that lets you see things even smaller, this is what you want, what you need and you already see yourself sliding it in and out of its little red sheath.



Marjorie Manwaring lives in Seattle, where she is a freelance writer/editor, co-editor of the online poetry and art journal the DMQ Review, and member of the Floating Bridge Press editorial board. Her chapbook What to Make of a Diminished Thing is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press in spring 2012, and a full-length poetry collection will be published by Mayapple Press in February 2013. “Charm” previously appeared in the 2010 Jack Straw Writers Anthology.

Michael Dylan Welch

ひさかたのひかりのどけき春の日にしづ心なく花の散るらん                                     紀友則

hisakata no hikari nodokeki harunohi ni shizugokoro naku hana no chiruran 

the light filling the air
is so mild this spring day
only the cherry blossoms
keep falling in haste—
why is that so?                                                                                                                                                   

Ki no Tomonori

Michael Dylan Welch is pleased to announce that he and Emiko Miyashita have a waka (tanka) translation appearing on the back of a U.S. postage stamp, in an edition of 100,000,000 copies, that will be released on March 24, 2012 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the cherry trees in Washington, D.C. The translation is from their 2008 artbook, 100 Poets: Passions of the Imperial Court  (Tokyo: PIE Books). He lives in Sammamish, Washington.

You can read more about the stamp at Beyond the Perf and at the website.

ADDENDUM APRIL 11:  The initial print run for this stamp was actually 100,000,000 copies. The stamp has been sellling more than a million copies a day since it was released on March 24, and the postal service has just announced a reprint of at least 50,000,000 more copies, making this one of the best-selling U.S. postage stamps in decades. And hopefully everyone who buys them will enjoy the tanka poem on the back. The Washington Post has a story about this stamp’s sales exceeding expectations.


Michael Daley

The Two Young Men From Japan

To be in possession of an absolute truth is to have a net of
familiarity spread over the whole of eternity.
—Eric Hoffer

“Orb Weavers have hooped a white gauze across sixty acres,”
a winter’s worth snag of less patient species, a community,
the historic web by dawn radiant in the east
snares the setting sun.
I read it in the paper someone left at the cafeteria.
The door wheezes behind me as I step back into Poland,
to see the name “Oswiecim” is liberating
for its pure municipal indifference.

The two young men from Japan are still laughing at the bus shelter.
They know me by my trudge, mud falling away,
head bowed under the ice of Auschwitz;
my boots announce to the gravel
a reverent tourist unlike them, giggling in a storm.
They await the bus to Krakow.
I always remember them,
have often wished I’d shrugged off
a silence my mind found
in the hours since losing my guide
when I wandered the death camp,
acres of chimneys in the cold.
“Oh, you’re from Seattle?”
Strange to hear home sound so foreign.
“Ichiro!” We laugh. We talk a little baseball.
How happy we are safe beyond history.
We laugh at anything—
old shoes suitcases spectacles dolls in mounds
indignant faces on our zlotys bus fare—that’s funny.
Embarrassed by the length of an English sentence:
“We… Are…Touring … Camps, All the Camps.”
Modest laughter
More camps than mine, my list only this.
“Dachau, Bergen-Belsen, Treblinka, Buchenau.” Wan smile.
They have traveled three months, both born in Nagasaki.

Parkas in cold Polish twilight,
we made our getaway from Auschwitz laughing.
My bus window black with February,
I scribbled in my notebook, grim and private.
They went on back there, they cackled all along the route,
their choppy map a line of stations on whose sleepers
they never slept, those intoxicated laughers
sprung from turf slabbed by monuments to the frisky dead.
I can’t forget them, how happy they were.
Perhaps it bothers me—why I write this now—
to hear them laugh again, to know
they never came to an end of camps,
I wasn’t the only pilgrim on the bus.



Michael Daley was born in Boston and lives in Anacortes. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and has an MFA from the University of Washington. In 1983 he published his first collection of poetry, The Straits. His chapbooks include Angels, Original Sin, Horace: Eleven Odes, The Corn Maiden, and Rosehip Plum Cherry. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Hudson Review, Alaskan Quarterly Review, Raven Chronicles, Seattle Review, on the Writer’s Almanac and forthcoming in The North American Review. In 2007 he published Way Out There: Lyrical Essays. In 2008 To Curve came out and in early 2010 Moonlight in the Redemptive Forest with a CD of poems and music arranged and performed by Brad Killion. “The Two Young Men From Japan” is from Moonlight in the Redemptive Forest.

Matt Gano


Launching the Whale


My dad is a carpenter, sort of like Jesus,
but he doesn’t believe in God.

His holy space is drills and grinders,
roaring teeth spitting chips and dust.

When I was twelve we built a canoe
from strips of cedar, ripped boards for weeks.

The frame in the garage was scaled like an empty whale,
bones lurching from the shop floor.
We arced on its new skin with glue and heavy staples.

Dad wore a green down-vest like a tortoise shell,
he said it would comfort our shop-mammal
to be built by something familiar.

As the frame was full with hull and keel,
we plied out staples like final stitches
removed from a recovered experiment,
ran our hands down its sanded spine,
the work painting into our palms,
our pores absorbing the bonding.

When we rode the whale, we launched it from the shore
like pushing a dead cow back into the sea, boots in the shallows
filled with lake water.

It would take us to the middle where the big fish are,
where the casting rods bend like cottonwood over glass,
dance jigs, whippin’ back and forth. Dragon tongues.

This is how we sit, me, navigator bow-boy,
front paddle like the steam engine is tug boat, but little boat.
Dad is stern, rudder man, power in the deep dig,
he spanked the water good,
like it forgot to take the garbage out.

We pull the trash from the beaver dens
and replace them with good sticks,
he says they don’t know any better, the babies
will get the soda rings around their heads
like the Spanish inquisition and die slow.

We don’t want um to die slow.
“Keep rowing, hard on the left, watch out for the log!”

I see the log. The log looks like a floating dog.
Put my paddle in it, sank through like a fork in cat food.
It is/was a dog, belly stickin’ out like helium and rot.

See how the K9’s are chipped and peeled back?
Musta’ been eatin’ marmots.
Sometimes a stray dog will eat rocks
if it’s hungry enough.

My dad is a scientist. He doesn’t believe in god.
His holy space is lakes and bug guts,
they cell through him when we walk on the roots
and slipping path of the Yakima valley.

We Swiss-blade open the on pond, make ripples like loons,
hoot-hoot against the quarry for the echo.
Make campfire dance with pucker-mouth lip wind
and sizzle up the iron-pan washin’ in mountain water.

When the tent gots the squirts with dew
and the embers burn down crackin’
like mosquitoes on Dad’s neck
with his slappin’, and it’s dark as bears,
morning peeps over the ridge
and we are simple
heirloom pocketknives,
carving memory into the tree.



Matt Gano is an accomplished performance poet and creative writing instructor. In 2011, Matt Gano guest lectured at The Juilliard School in New York City, featured for “Page Meets Stage,” at the Bowery Poetry Club, and led writing workshops at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA. Matt has traveled internationally teaching creative writing and performance in Seoul, Korea, and in 2009 earned a three-month artist residency at the Lee Shau Kee, School of Creativity in Hong Kong. Matt has worked as a national slam team coach and workshop instructor for Youth Speaks Seattle and is now a senior Artist in Residence with Seattle Arts and Lectures, Writers in the Schools.

Oliver de la Paz


The Boy With the Fiddle in a Crowded Square


The young are so talented, my father says to me
as he palms a bill to drop into the boy’s violin case.
Early, and the market is a riot with greens. Each stand
parades its wares while other parents cart by

with children in their strollers. My son is not listening
to the music—he’s off somewhere in his dreaming mind
where anything can be hidden and people are ghosts.
I drop a dollar at the musician’s feet and he gives a light nod,

the market traffic weaving around us like luminous boats.
In my head, I’m writing a letter to my father, explaining
how every mistake I’ve made is palpable now,
the way the clouds take on human flaws with the wind.

I’m telling him the long fly balls I missed in little league
are dropping, one by one, at my feet. I’m penning
the collapse of each of my coliseums because right now,
son-hood is a promise of ruination and this violin song,

the hymn of its republic. Tonight, I will write a real letter
to my son. It will reveal footprints on each proving ground
and halve every distance I’ve traveled. The earthen line
of my pen will hum as my son’s eyes read each line.

He will know each disappointment is a note like the wind
passing through the cable of a bridge. Each song
will rise, and hold the people in this market above
ragged waters. They will know how to listen. To parse

each other’s hearts by bending forward as my father does now,
smiling at the fiddle player, then at my son. Slowly,
the soloist’s notes thin into sliced apples—the crowd’s
polite applause surging, then gone.


Oliver de la Paz is the author of three books of poetry: Names Above Houses, Furious Lullaby, and Requiem for the Orchard. He is the co-editor along with Stacey Lynn Brown of A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry. A recipient of grants from the Artist’s Trust and NYFA, he co-chairs the advisory board. He teaches at Western Washington University and lives in Deming, WA.